Rusk County, Wisconsin

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  Big Falls Spillway:  View Video
Latitude: 45.55573   Longitude: -90.96030
Big Falls spillway is upstream and NE of Ladysmith.  The lake behind this spillway is called Big Falls Flowage in the Flambeau River.  To visit the site go 6 miles east of Ladysmith on Rte 8 (to just east of Tony) and turn left (north) on County Road I; then 4.8 miles north on I to right onto Flambeau Road; then 1.4 miles to right on a side-road to a parking lot 100 yards east, which is just west of the spillway.  Then a walk of 200 yards will get you to where the photo on the left was taken. 

Dairyland Spillway:  View Video
Latitude: 45.49151   Longitude: -91.00056
This powerplant spillway is just upstream from Ladysmith and creates Dairyland Reservoir behind it from flow of the Flambeau River.  To visit the site from Rte 8 (Lake Avenue) in Ladysmith go north on W. 5th Street N.; in a few blocks 5th Street turns into County Road J... continue on J for 3.4 miles and at that point Dairyland Dam Road goes straight ahead... follow Dairyland Dam Road for 1.1 miles to the spillway.  

  Island Lake Spillway:  View Video
Latitude: 45.32060   Longitude: -91.37049
Don't miss this one, its small but pretty and right alongside Route 40.  From the town of Bruce go 10.9 miles south on Route 40 and the spillway will be on your right.  The spillway drains Island Lake into Swift Creek. 

  Ladysmith Spillway:  View Video
Latitude: 45.46424   Longitude: -91.08387
Another spillway on the Flambeau River which eventually drains into the Chippewa River just upstream from Holcombe.  Most of the year there is none or very little water going over the spillway... most of the water goes thru the generating plant turbines to generate power
... the generating plant is the building on the right in the photo at left.   

Murphy Spillway:  View Video
Latitude: 45.57456   Longitude: -91.51192
This spillway, located in Murphy Flowage County Park,  drains Murphy Flowage into Hemlock Creek.  The Ice Age National Scenic Trail also goes through this park.  The park is quite easy to find... go north 13.7 miles on County Road F from Route 8 in the town of Weyerhaeuser. 

Red Canyon Falls:
Latitude: 45.61315   Longitude: -91.32630
Red Canyon Falls is a new find which we hope to visit in 2018.  From the town of Bruce go North on Highway 40 for 2.7 miles and turn left onto County Road H; then 6.2 miles and left onto Meadow Dam Road.  At 2.9 miles on Meadow Dam Road you will find a gated logging road on the right... park there and start your hike to the north on the logging road.  At about 1.2 miles north on the logging road you will intersect with a snowmobile trail... follow it west for about 1/4 mile... at that point the waterfall will be off to the north, work your way down a cliff and to the bottom for photos.  This falls does not have a large flow but quite sufficient in the spring... pictures we have seen show it to be a fall of 20 feet or so.

Thornapple Spillway:  View Video
Latitude: 45.41080   Longitude: -91.21741
This spillway is downstream from Ladysmith in the Flambeau River.  From Route 27 in Ladysmith go 7.1 miles west on Route 8 to Beebe Road (County Road E) and turn left (south)... travel 3.5 miles and turn left onto Old T Road, then in 0.75 miles turn right on Dam Road, then 0.2 miles to the spillway. 


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Links & Helpful Hints...
Before you visit a waterfall it is helpful to know the surrounding landscape... we use two free internet services to help. provides free topo maps which can be enlarged and printed.  Access Topoquest and then click "find maps" on their website, put in GPS from our data (without the minus sign), click "search", then click on the first USGS map that has a DRG name, click on the map itself and select zoom level.  To navigate the area... if you want to look at an area left of the map, click on the left edge of the map, etc.  Below each map will be a listing of features shown on the map... a little work and you will learn their system (sometime clicking on the edge will not take you to an adjacent map).
We also use Google Earth.  It is a free service you can download at  Like Topoquest, you put in GPS data (or city, or county and state) and it will "fly" you to the location requested. 
There are lots of internet sites that list facts about Wisconsin... one of the best is the Wisconsin DNR site which has all kinds of info.  Another good site is

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